Privacy Accelerator: Telling About Participants and Making Plans

Started in October first set Privacy Acceleratorwhich is organized starring RosKomSvobody. It included several cool projects related to privacy and access to information. It’s time to talk about them.

It so happened that this year, this is the third project of our team related to “acceleration”. We held an online competition in May Pandemic hackathonwhere they looked for the best ideas for medicine and civic assistance in the era of covid. And in September-October, we had a big two-stage hackathon of digital citizenship solutions DemHack

Now we are also engaged in supporting initiatives close to us in values, but in a new format accelerator, which is seen as a more long-term, deep and high-quality history of the development of the project from idea to successful implementation. After all, winning a hackathon and getting a prize does not mean success. Having received money, teams often remain in euphoria, but without a clear understanding of where to move next. And they also need advice and guidance from experienced business experts, practical help from narrow specialists in design, law, marketing, IT and security. And this need is even more obvious than before or during the hackathon.

How the accelerator goes

All the teams currently participating in the accelerator program were selected on a competitive basis as the best among other applicants. All selected projects meet our values ​​of access to information, privacy and personal data protection, and also have good commercial potential or clear public benefit.

Projects selected in Privacy Accelerator are at different stages of development and require an individual approach from mentors of different directions. Each team has a lead business mentor, with whom they formulate hypotheses and test them, identify the target audience, build a roadmap, do SWOT analysis, and more. Also, all projects receive support and advice from experts in the field of IT law, UX design, etc.

For successful acceleration, the team, first of all, must independently intensively work on the development and promotion of its product (according to the terms of the program – at least 20 hours a week).

Now it looks like this: once a week or two, the team meets with the leading business mentor and discusses the result achieved over a certain period, then again leaves to do their “homework”. Other mentors and invited experts hold online meetings where they advise and help plan the stages of work in different directions. The organizing committee establishes communication and supports the participants. Everyone has their own clear objectives.

Who is in the program now

It is logical that after two hackathons in our field of vision there were two teams that received the highest marks from the judges. Now they have come to us with a request to participate in further acceleration, highly appreciating the mentoring and organizational assistance they received earlier.

Command Personalka (ex. Small Font) became the winner in the online competition Pandemic Hackathon, which was held by RosKomSvoboda in May 2020. Then “Small print” received a grant for development and has already successfully completed it.

The project is a service for analyzing and storing agreements on the processing of personal data, which remembers the fact of their transfer, shows the risks and forms a template for withdrawing consent. Mission – raising awareness of people when signing consent to the processing of their personal information and drawing public attention to the problem of inappropriate use of personal data.

The team came to the accelerator with new tasks: finding a way to monetize, a further development model in the Russian Federation and enter the international market.

Amnezia VPN Project – a service based on completely open source code (server and client) for self-deployment of a VPN server, the most secure and confidential. Project won at the DemHack hackathon in fall 2020.

As conceived by the authors, the distinguishing feature of the solution is its simplicity, accessibility even for a “non-advanced” user. The application will be useful and convenient both for accessing blocked sites and for work, for example, for journalists who have to fear surveillance or interference when contacting sensitive sources.

In the accelerator, the project wants to complete the development of user-friendly clients for various systems (Windows, Android, MacOS, iPhone, etc.) and reach users with a simple, convenient and free (!) Tool, “understandable for housewives”.

Charity police project team is developing a system for finding and limiting the work of fraudulent charitable collections on the Internet. The neural network performs analysis for reliability, identifies possible similarities with fraudulent fees, and then the operator checks the found data.

The mission of the project is to make a tool that will increase the real fees of NGOs by reducing fraudulent fees. It “coincided with needs and opportunities” – the needs of activists, to make the third sector more transparent and technological opportunities to create a tool for analyzing large amounts of data to help activists.

It is interesting for Charity Police to establish work with the Russian community of philanthropists and enter the international market.

Self Privacy Project – an open-source server-platform on user hosting for the deployment of personal private services (chats, social networks, mail, vpn, etc.), managed using a mobile application via API providers (Hetzner, AWS, Cloudflare). All possibilities will be collected in one mobile application.

The team considers itself “a little paranoid”, does everything to prevent their mail and other personal correspondence from becoming available to someone else when using public services. Privacy of communications and presence on the Internet, minimization of digital footprints – this is what the project is striving for. Also, the use of private services can help users get rid of intrusive advertising, data collection and the subsequent impact of IT giants.

At the end of the acceleration, the Self Privacy project would like to make an MVP and promote the product to interested audiences.

What will happen next

The Privacy Accelerator program will end in mid-January 2021. However, it is possible that some teams will be ready to show the result and “graduate” from the accelerator even earlier. We expect that a successful graduate of the accelerator should: attract the first users, make themselves known in the media, finalize the project to the release stage and start work in the stated volumes. By the end of the accelerator, the teams will at least test their hypothesis, and if the test succeeds, they will enter the market.

And while the first set is still at its zenith, we are starting to prepare the second, which starts in the new 2021! We plan that it will be more targeted and intensive (yes, even more work and achievements!;)) And we will also test the direct connection between the hackathon and the accelerator, the request for which we see right now.

If you have any ideas on what else can be done in the new accelerator format, share! And also send in advance applications – a form for their submission already open!

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